Leftover Lovers

Word of Mouth blogger Susan Smillie is obsessed with leftovers, but she’s got a beef with the new cookbook, The Kitchen Revolution, which focuses on refashioning yesterday’s dinner. As a review of the cookbook in the UK Guardian explains:

The idea is that you do one weekly shop and cook a big meal from scratch on Night One (perhaps it’s Sunday dinner). The next two evenings, you have leftovers, but excitingly done—not just bubble and squeak; the fourth night, there is a seasonal recipe that is generally pretty quick; on night five you prepare a feast using stuff from your larder; and on the sixth night, you make double quantities of something and freeze half of it. On the seventh night you eat something you made from the week before —the book provides 52 weeks’ worth of dinners.

As someone who loves planning as much as leftovers, this completely appeals to me. When I was starting out as a single girl in the city, I’d hit the supermarket once a week to pick up a bag of beans and just enough extra ingredients to respice and repackage them throughout the week—they’d usually be served in a burrito, over rice, molded into bean burgers, as a bean soup, and finally, over nachos on Friday night.

My grocery budget has increased over the years (so I no longer live on beans alone), but I’ve hit a major snag in my once-a-week food shopping routine: My husband’s appetite is ruled by cravings. He often throws a wrench in my well-orchestrated weekly menus by begging for, say, jerk chicken on the night I’d been planning on black bean salmon and edamame purée.

If it were up to my better half, we’d do all our cooking on the fly, based on the leftovers in the fridge and what we picked up on the way home from work. But does anyone else share the regimented cooking style favored by the authors of The Kitchen Revolution (and me)?

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